Saturday 24 June 2017

Updated training regime for Tsuyu


A daily and very simple mix of Sonoba-Kihon followed by Ido-Kihon. In sum, the core kihon “with a big of a twist”… My reps at present a quite low ranging between 30-40 including a warm up of each technique 10 times slowly. The overarching theme is `effective high-quality` execution.


At present I am practicing three different kata per session, the first for my base training, the second for my personal advancement and the third for `technical variation`. I execute each kata at least four times each.

(1)  Each day one of the SHITEI-GATA: either Heian Shodan, Nidan, Sandan, Yondan, Godan or Tekki Shodan.

(2)  Nijushiho

(3)  A random kata: from standard Shotokan-Ryu or a Koten-gata. 


(a)   Kihon Ippon Kumite

(b)  Jiyu Ippon Kumite

(c)   Uchikomi

Kihon Ippon Kumite and Jiyu Ippon Kumite once slowly then twice a regular speed. Attack with, and defense and counters against: (1) JODAN—jodan oi-zuki; (2) CHUDAN—chudan oi-zuki; (3) MAE-GERI—chudan mae-geri keage; (4) YOKO-KEKOMI—chudan yoko-geri kekomi; (5) CHUDAN/JODAN MAWASHI-GERI—either chudan mawashi-geri or jodan mawashi-geri (please announce); and (6) USHIRO-GERI—chudan ushiro-geri kekomi. Just to confirm, yes I am also practicing mawashi-geri and ushiro-geri in Kihon Ippon Kumite, which is not in the syllabus.

Uchikomi: Firstly, standard practice, Kizami-zuki, Chudan gyaku-zuki, Jodan gyaku-zuki, Jodan oi-zuki, various renzokuwaza with tsuki, chudan mae-geri, chudan mawashi-geri, jodan mawashi-geri, legs followed by hands; and finally, creative/spontaneous renzokuwaza.

Taken as a whole, this current training is reflective of the Summer arriving here in Japan. With the rainy season starting, the humidity is once again rising alongside the temprature, making warm ups and stretching easier, and training harder. As the saying goes, “…we must take the good with the challenges”. I personally believe that the good things are bonuses and the challenges are where the real gains can be made. What I am trying to say is that everything can be looked at in a positive light. I wish you the very best from Oita City, Japan. – André

Now in my 40s, with huge support from masters here in Japan, I will focus on Budo Karate without all of nonsensical politics; that is, our objective is to make truly great karateka and karate instructors here in Japan and around the world.
© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2017).

Monday 19 June 2017


Today marks a DECADE—yes, literally 10 years—since I made my first post on this blog. Appropriately, the title was ‘Yoroshiku onegaishimasu’. Please look back if you want to understand this site and my Karate path, which is now in its 36th year.

Taken as a whole, I’d like to thank all of my seniors, peers, and students here in Japan, and around the world for your wonderful support.

In sum, pertaining to training, for high level practitioners "...kihon until the body fails is imperative", as 'flashy instruction', lots of talk, and 'feelings', are now commonplace in the world. Needless to say, this theoretical karate will break under overwhelming strength. This is the technical essence of Budo Karate. That is, the Martial Art of Karate-Do.

With much thanks and appreciation from Kyushu, Japan, for those who have supported this site for the last 10 years. I am still surprised that a blog dedicated to hardcore karate, and Shotokan specific, yet still could become so popular. Then again, I am not surprised as many people are still seeking the true martial art of Karate and, even if not, are unable to ignore it.


Osu, André Bertel

© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2017).

Saturday 17 June 2017

Trainee from Kazakhstan: Tuleukhan Iskakov

Mr. Tuleukhan Iskakov travelled all the way to Oita City—from Kazakhstan—to be a renshusei on between June 15th and 16th.

I will not disclose what was covered, during Tuleukhan’s time training here in Japan—that is for him to keep and share at his own discretion; however, I will say that it was great to see him improve his karate, moreover, leave with the tools to decisively ’snowball’ these improvements: via diligent practice.

As Tuleukhan booked me several months in advance, he easily managed to be accepted as a renshusei and, more advantageously, flexibly choose his training times. For others,—wishing to be a renshusei—his very early booking is a great example. In this regards you can email me at:

Overall, I would like to congratulate Tuleukhan on completing training here in Oita; furthermore, we wish him the very best in his future Karate-Do endeavours. 押忍, André
© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2017).